Middle East

Assad media adviser to speak via Skype at US news conference

Rebel fighters from the First Regiment, part of the Free Syrian Army, prepare to fire a Grad rocket from Aleppo's Al-Haidariya neighbourhood, towards forces loyal to Syria's President Bashar al-Assad stationed in Talet al-Sheikh Youssef, Syria May 29, 2016. REUTERS/Abdalrhman Ismail

WASHINGTON: Syrian President Bashar Assad's media adviser will speak by remote video at a Washington news conference, even though she is on a U.S. sanctions blacklist.

Bouthaina Shaaban is among the speakers at Thursday's event being hosted by a group called the "Global Alliance for Terminating ISIS." The National Press Club's website says she will appear "via Skype."

The Treasury Department says Americans are generally prohibited from dealing with anyone on its Specially Designated Nationals List. The department wouldn't say if facilitating Shaaban's media appearance through video is permissible or not.

State Department spokeswoman John Kirby on Wednesday called Shaaban a "propaganda mouthpiece for the Assad regime."

The U.S. called on the Syrian leader to leave power almost five years ago.





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